A work by British street artist Banksy, which sensationally self-shredded just after it was sold at auction three years ago, has fetched nearly £ 18.6 million ($ 34.3 million) – a record for the artist and close to 20 times the pre-shredded price.
- The artwork originally had a picture of a girl reaching for a red balloon
- It became one of the anonymous artist’s most famous works when it was shredded after its first sale
- The resale of its remains set a new record for a Banksy work of art
The artwork, known as Love is in the Bin, was offered by Sotheby’s in London, with an estimated upfront of £ 4 million to £ 6 million ($ 7.4 million – $ 11.1 million).
It consists of a half-striped canvas in a decorated frame with a spray-painted picture of a girl reaching for a heart-shaped red balloon.
After a 10-minute bidding war with nine bidders in the salon, online and over the phone, it sold for three times its higher estimate.
The sale price of £ 18,582,000 ($ 34,257,511.70) includes a VAT known as a buyer’s premium.
When it was last sold at Sotheby’s in October 2018, the piece was known as Girl With Balloon.
Just as an anonymous European buyer made the winning bid – for £ 1 million – a hidden shredder framed in the frame of Banksy swirled to life, leaving half of the canvas hanging from the frame in strips.
Sotheby’s at the time received some criticism for not being able to see the hidden shredder.
However, the 2018 buyer decided to go ahead with the purchase, a decision that was confirmed as the price of the work rose.
The work quickly became one of Banksy’s most famous, especially as Sotheby’s had toured it to cities including New York and Hong Kong before the auction.
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s chairman of modern and contemporary art, called the shredding “one of the most ingenious moments in performance art of this century”.
“It’s been a whirlwind to follow the journey of this now legendary piece and have it back in our midst and offer it tonight in the space itself, it was created by the artist,” Branczik said.
“Banksy is no stranger to making headlines, and this latest chapter in his story has captured the imagination of the world – we can only begin to guess what may come next.”
Banksy, who has never confirmed his full identity, began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England, and has become one of the world’s most famous artists.
His naughty and often satirical images include two male police officers kissing, armed riot police with yellow smiley faces and a chimpanzee with a sign with the words, “Laugh now, but one day I have the responsibility.”
Several of his works have sold for millions at auction.
In March, a Banksy mural in honor of Britain’s health workers, first painted on a hospital wall, sold for £ 16.8 million ($ 29.5 million) at a Christie’s auction, which – until this week – was a record for the artist. .
Girl With Balloon was originally stencilled on a wall in East London and has been endlessly rendered and has become one of Banksy’s most famous images.